Porsche Macan Sports at a showroom in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
New luxury car dealers recorded a 17.3 percent drop in sales last year, with Porsche and Mercedes among the models suffering decline in orders.
The dealers, including DT Dobie and Porsche Centre Nairobi, moved 124 units in the year ended December, down from 150 units the year before, according to data from the Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI).
The performance of the high-end car dealers trailed that of the overall new vehicle market which registered a 29.8 percent sales jump to 14,250 units in the review period, marking a six-year high.
Sales of Porsche fell from 25 to one last year as the brand continued to suffer from stockouts owing to the termination of the previous franchise holder and a delay in appointing a new dealer.
The franchise owner, Stuttgart-based Porsche AG, terminated the contract of Porsche Centre Nairobi in January 2020 and is yet to name a replacement even after holding discussions with multiple players in the market.
Franchise transfers typically hurt sales in the short term as the terminated dealer focuses on clearing stocks and the new appointee takes time to set up shop.
Orders for BMW, Jaguar and Land Rover models –sold by Inchcape— increased to 77 from 66.
Sales of Mercedes, by DT Dobie, dropped from 57 to 45. Bentley sales, by Bentley Nairobi, fell from two to one. Sales of the high-end cars are projected to take a further hit in the short term due to higher showroom prices and supply constraints as a result of the semiconductors crisis.
Shortages of semiconductors –used in cars’ electronic devices— has seen global automakers scale down their production.
DT Dobie is among the dealers that have said the crisis could disrupt the supply of some of their models.